<p>An article in early editions of The Sun Thursday incorrectlycharacterized the bankruptcy petition filed earlier in the week byDr. Neil Solomon. It was a Chapter 13 filing.
The Sun regrets the errors.
Dr. Neil Solomon has filed for bankruptcy, delaying proceedings in the multimillion-dollar lawsuits filed by three former patients who allege he improperly engaged in sexual relationships with them.
The Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition was filed Monday in the federal bankruptcy court in Baltimore. Under Chapter 7, a court-appointed trustee distributes assets among creditors if there are assets to be applied to any debts.
The petition was followed by notice of the action in Baltimore Circuit Court, resulting in an automatic stay of the lawsuits.
"From what I'm told, it's obviously going to make the road much more difficult for the plaintiffs," said their lawyer, Joanne L. Suder. The three women, whose names are not public, filed the lawsuits in July and August against the former state health secretary.
At the time, Dr. Solomon, a prospective 1994 gubernatorial candidate, accused Ms. Suder and her clients of trying to smear him and promised to "aggressively and vigorously" fight charges in the suits.
Dr. Solomon and his lawyers could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Referring to the bankruptcy filing, Ms. Suder said yesterday, "It means that the proceedings will have to be stayed. We won't be able to go ahead.
"I can just say that we are quite disappointed by this new action. Although I have not had the opportunity to discuss it with all of my clients, the clients that know about it are equally disappointed.
Each of the patients suing Dr. Solomon claims that he improperly lured her into a sexual relationship while under his care.
Last week, the patients sought a court order that Dr. Solomon undergo testing for acquired immune deficiency syndrome, alleging that he had had unprotected sex with multiple partners over a period of several years.
That court motion prompted Dr. Solomon to issue a written statement charging that the "phantom accusers" -- whose names were sealed by the court -- were attempting to ruin his bid for governor and collect a multimillion-dollar jackpot in the process.
Ms. Suder said she was uncertain "what avenues are open to us" but that "if the cases are stayed because of his bankruptcy filing, there's nothing the plaintiffs will be able to do unless the stay is somehow lifted. It's automatically stayed under the bankruptcy laws if they've filed the notice in Circuit Court, which they have done."
Dr. Solomon was Maryland's first secretary of health and mental hygiene, from 1969 to 1979, and in recent years has had a private practice in Towson specializing in weight control, allergies, fitness and smoking cessation.
He writes a syndicated medical column that is distributed nationally by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate and appears weekly in The Evening Sun.